Everyone has to eat and travelers are no exception. When arriving to a new destination sometimes it's not easy to find a place and one just chooses a quick and known McDs place or Burger something.

But why not transform a quick meal into a travelling experience? every place has its own traditional fast food / street food. Not expensive, quick, widely available and easy to eat. Eg.: in Porto/Portugal you have "Francesinha" cheap enough and widely available. In the Netherlands you have fish shops selling herring or fried fish.

I wonder if there is such a website or resource which provides this information about other "typical" fast food around the world?

It can be either specific to the country or even cities themselfs.

  • I'm not sure if this is a good question because it's a bit "meta". But I do think specific questions about the street food of particular countries or regions are good questions for our site. Mar 6, 2013 at 0:12
  • @nsn The best resource is when you meet people from other countries, and can ask them about particular "fast food" in their particular country eg Fish n Chips in the UK or when you visit a country and can ask.Good to know before hand though if such a site exists.
    – Simon
    Mar 6, 2013 at 14:45
  • Wonder how granular it will be, eg in Edinburgh it is not Fish'n'Chips, but Smoked Sausage Supper with Salt'n'Sauce :-)
    – Rory Alsop
    Sep 27, 2013 at 8:57

2 Answers 2


The Health Assist Blog outlines (quite comprehensively) the fast food of various countries globally.

Part 1 illustrates fast food that can be obtained in the following european countries:

  • Denmark
  • The Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Poland
  • Sweden
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom


Part II illustrates Asian & Australian fast foods:

  • Australia
  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Korea


Part III illustrates South, Central American & Mexican fast foods:

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Bolivia
  • Costa Rica
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Venezuela
  • Mexico



If you are in London (UK) this weekend 28th - 29th September 2013 you will be able to taste a variant of fast food because a festival of european street food, with food stalls from all over Europe will be hitting East London's Dalston Yard. So you can go around sampling different european tasties, and ask the people of those countries selling them how typical or perhaps non typical they are of the that particular country !

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If you want to sample some the finest that Europe has to offer, more information on this event can be seen:

Street Food Europe - A Festival Of European Street Food.

  • Although a bit parallel to the question the festival is a very nice tip. Thank you!!
    – nsn
    Sep 27, 2013 at 17:19
  • @nsn Welcome :)
    – Simon
    Sep 27, 2013 at 17:20

When talking about fast food, I guess you have to split into two categories: Those restaurants operated by (inter-)national chains and "Street food". Why?

When going to an unknown country, most people feel uneasy about eating just at the first place they come across due to hygiene considerations. For example, Starbucks in China is the prime place to go when you want to make sure that the food is safe and the toilets are clean if - specially in more remote areas of the country - you do not have the time to search for a reputable location. However, what you normally get in those places is not local food. To operate large, national chains one needs often a strong brand that can draw in the masses you need to justify the sophisticated routines you can see behind a counter of a McDonalds or KFC. That is not to say that there are no non-american fast-food chains. There are Pho Noodle chains in Vietnam, Ramen chains in Japan etc. However, for the added safety bonus, you will limit yourself quickly to larger countries where such an operation makes sense and there also to largely US companies with 1-2 exceptions of local franchises, depending on the size and development status of the country. Further, you will also limit yourself to a much more narrow selection of food, since each of these restaurants will offer the same menu nationwide. Maybe companies like McDonalds serve a slightly changed menu in Japan, but within Japan, the dishes are mostly the same.

So in order to get a truly local experience with the varieties each region or even city can offer, I would recommend to use the term street food instead of fast food. And there, you will find very quickly a huge variety of web sites, lists and directories online that will fill your every wish - but require you to keep your eyes open in terms of hygiene of the food. Since street food vendors often do not have bathrooms, that issue solves itself.

And that search in return would allow you to find out what food types are popular for each area of a country (let's say Ramen in Japan), and you can then go back to google and search for example "Japanese Ramen Chain" to find something with a more consistent quality.

So some good lists for street food are Wikipedia and even restaurant guides. Also Anthony Bourdain from the travel channel network is usually having some kind of street food during his visit to each country. You might even take a look at the webpage of the World Street Food Congress. Flickr is having a group that allows you a more visual experience to explore. And last but not least, googling for street food is a valid option, too.

  • 1
    I understand your remark about street food. But I actualy used "fast food" on purpose to show that is not an exclusive of big chains. It has allways been around (by the way there is a difference between fast food and junk food.. some times it's not clear but one does not imply the other). Fast food in the sense that I am asking includes street food but not only. There are also small cafes, and even local FF restaurant chains.
    – nsn
    Mar 6, 2013 at 8:14
  • 1
    "Fast food" does in fact have to many meanings that tend to blend into one another. There's franchises, junk food, street food, and food you don't have to wait long for. Franchises often make food with low nutritional value. Street food can often be difficult to gauge in terms of hygiene. But in places like Singapore there's a majority of places you get served quickly in very unfancy settings but the food is hygienic healthy delicious and cheap - hawker stands and food courts. So it's very hard to come up with a universal terminology that's true everywhere. Sep 11, 2013 at 13:05
  • In Singapore, for example, the term "fast food" is typically used to refer only to American-style self-service restaurants such as McDonald's, KFC, and MOS Burger. Local quick-meals that one can find in hawker centres and 'kopitiams' are never referred to as fast food. Sep 12, 2013 at 1:49

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